Coltivare Team Opens New Bar With Anvil Alum in the Houston Heights

Exterior of EZ's Liqour Lounge

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I bought my daughter’s first bike helmet at Blue Line Bike Lab when it was located at 3302 White Oak. When the bike shop moved to a new location on Yale, I was worried that the 1950s-era building it used to occupy would be torn down and replaced with generic townhouses. Fortunately, Agricole Hospitality, which operates Heights staples Coltivare — which is next door — and Eight Row Flint scooped up the space. It’s now home to EZ’s Liquor Lounge, which officially opened on October 24 after the inevitable permitting delays that plague so many Houston bar and restaurant openings.

Matt Tanner co-owns the new bar. He garnered extensive experience bartending at Anvil Bar and Refuge for four years before working at Pappas Restaurants as concept beverage manager, overseeing beverage operations and developing cocktails for several Pappas restaurants and brands.

Strawberry-Watermelon Margarita at EZ's Liquor Lounge
Strawberry-Watermelon Margarita at EZ’s Liquor Lounge. Photo by Sarah Daniel.

Though the bar’s atmosphere leans heavily into an easygoing Texas roadhouse vibe — it’s more Willie Nelson than Frank Sinatra — the cocktails are thoughtful, well-crafted takes on classics. More traditional offerings include EZ GNT with cucumber gin, lime juice, lemon peel, mint and Fever-Tree tonic and EZ Mule, which combines Wheatley vodka, hibiscus, vanilla, lime juice and St. Arnolds Ginger Beer. For the Sinatra fans, there’s even a Freezer Martini made with New Amsterdam Stratusphere gin, a vermouth blend, olives and lemon peel.

Hillbilly Highball at EZ's Liquor Lounge
The Hillbilly Highball at EZ’s Liquor Lounge includes salted peanut butter-infused bourbon, Coca-Cola and, yes, peanuts. Photo by Cindy Wang.

Tanner brings his creativity (and sense of humor) to cocktails such as Hillbilly Highball, an unusual concoction of salted peanut butter-infused bourbon, Mexican Coke and peanuts and Dulce De Leche Old-Fashioned with Very Old Barton Bonded Bourbon, Angostura bitters, dulce de leche, dark sugar syrup, clarified lemon juice and clarified milk. The drink menu is rounded out with several other cocktails, including, of course, a frozen margarita (it is a bar in Houston after all), a selection of craft and mainstream beers and a small wine list.

Pool Table at Ez's Liquor Lounge
Pool Table at Ez’s Liquor Lounge. Photo by Sarah Daniel.

Agricole Hospitality’s owners include notable Houston chefs Ryan Pera and Vincent Huynh, so you know there will be great food to enjoy with your drinks. The focused bar-food menu includes snacks such as pickled-jalapeño onion dip and pimento cheese with pickled okra. There is a selection of four hot dogs, including the Caliente Dog, which features a 1/4 lb. R-C Ranch Wagyu dog, jalapeño cheese spread, onion, habanero-honey mustard and garlic celery, and the vegetarian Dahli Dog, a Field Roast vegan dog with golden veggie chili, pickled onion and cilantro. In the tradition of many Texas bars, there is also chili: chili con carne and Gold Veggie Chili — though I doubt either is being served from a Crockpot on a card table set up in the corner next to a jukebox.

The Tall Texas from Alice's Tall Texas
The Tall Texan from now-closed iconic bar Alice’s Tall Texan has found a new home at EZ’s Liquor Lounge. Photo by Sarah Daniel.

Though EZ may not have a card table with a Crockpot, it does have a pool table and other classic Texas bar decor — including the tall Texan statue from the now-closed, iconic Houston bar, Alice’s Tall Texan. With its mix of decor, drinks and food, EZ’s Liquor Lounge is on its way to fulfilling Tanner’s vision of creating, as he says in a press release, “a place that people want to hang out day or night, with something for everyone. Our hope is for EZ’s to be that go-to, comfortable place where you come to watch sports, play games, and be with friends.”

EZ’s Liquor Lounge is open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 2 a.m.

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